Archive for October, 2011

Greece prepares to light the blue touch paper

These were the words that reverberated through the Brussels bureaucracy and world financial markets this evening:

“We trust citizens, we believe in their judgment, we believe in their decision.  In a few weeks the (EU) agreement will be a new loan contract… we must spell out if we are accepting it or if we are rejecting it.”

No one saw this coming. As the EU’s elite congratulated themselves on announcing their unfunded €1 trillion voodoo financial package, to shore up Greece and thus keep the Eurozone intact for a while longer, Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, was preparing to ask the Greek people if they accept the terms of the deal in a national referendum.

Moves are already afoot in Greece to declare such a referendum unconstitutional.  The political class dare not ask the people what they want.  It is not the EU way.  The Greeks will almost certainly reject the deal, seeing it as an element of the austerity measures that have resulted in strikes and civil disorder.  That will mean a default on their already huge debt, and crucially, despite all the EU’s assurances to the contrary, the likely departure of Greece from the Euro.

If Greece defaults and decouples in such a manner, other indebted Eurozone nations such as Ireland or even struggling Italy, might just consider doing the same thing, leaving a mountain of debt in their wake and taking the opportunity to rebuild their economies with a new currency and manage their own financial affairs in their own interest once again.  The Euro would be in serious trouble.

As Merkel said, if the Euro fails, Europe (EU) fails.

The one-size-fits-all chickens might now be coming home to roost.  We will all feel substantial pain, but it will be pain that had been caused by the vanity, incompetence, mismanagement and anti democratic behaviour of the political class that has treated the people with contempt. People will not forget.

The very foundations of the European Union will be shaken if Greece lights the blue touch paper and presses ahead with a referendum.  This could be the start of a turning point in European history.  We are heading into uncharted territory and the possibility of conflict cannot be ruled out.

Compare and contrast with the UK media

The German newspaper Spiegel’s online arm today runs an English translation of an interview conducted with the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, following the European ‘summit’ on the financial crisis.

Reading the first question put to Schäuble, below, it is easy to form the opinion that this is going to be one of those fawning ‘volleyball’ interviews where the journalist performs the set for the politician to spike the ball over the net and win a point:

Mr. Schäuble, politicians and economists around the world are hailing the recent European Union summit as a success. Has the euro now been saved?

However after a few questions it becomes clear Schäuble is being challenged on his points and not being able to make airy fairy assertions without being called on them.

The interview is notable for the incredible contrast to the fawning approach we see in the UK media whenever Ministers are questioned about such important matters.  It also stands out for the way in which the interviewers push for an answer to the question asked rather than mindlessly accepting whatever PR generated line the politicians spins out, which is now the norm in this country.

No matter what your political persuasion or viewpoint on the EU and the bail out fund reported last week, the interview is well worth reading.  At the very least is demonstrates how dumbed down and ineffective our media is in comparison.  It is also instructive for those who wish to intelligently challenge politicians at all levels in this country in an effort to hold them to account.

The great sleepwalk

The people of this country are in the process of being brainwashed to ask only those questions the political elite will allow and are, at the same time, being programmed to see every political decision as one that is unquestionably correct. This brainwashing, or social engineering, has now reached a stage where it appears that Britons are no longer able to see what is happening to them and their country.

Read the whole thing at the always excellent Witterings from Witney.

Peter Hitchens and the Europlastics

These days one never can tell how much of what is published in a newspaper comprises the complete original thoughts of the columnist.  In the last few weeks I have seen the original drafts of a renowned Telegraph columnist and a Daily Express columnist, and on both occasions the published piece has been edited down to remove some of the most salient elements of the respective pieces.

So when reading the Peter Hitchens column in the Mail online today I cannot be sure that everything ‘Hitch’ wrote was published.  Nevertheless, what is attributed to him suggests he too has been taken in by the Europlastics.  Consider this passage and in particular the sentence directly above the photograph, the footnote beneath it and the last sentence shown in the image:

How is it that someone like Peter Hitchens, who is supposed to be a genuine Eurosceptic, can sit at his keyboard and write something this misleading?  How can the likes of Bill Cash be described as a man of principle when the European Scrutiny Committee, which he chairs, waved through the EU’s Integrated Maritime Policy which will remove British control over our own waters?

How also can Hitchens allow people to take the impression that all the 79 Tory MPs who voted in favour of a Bill to hold a referendum are actually Eurosceptic?  How could any Eurosceptic Tory vote in favour of establishing the European External Action Service (EU’s version of the Foreign Office)?  Based on what Hitchens is saying then surely around 79 Tories will have voted against the EEAS measure.  How many actually did?  See for yourself.

Looking at the vote information above, where are all these ‘Eurosceptics’ that Hitchens refers to?

It seems even those who profess to stand outside the bubble still manage to sow the official misinformation that positions Tory MPs who wish to remain firmly inside the EU as sceptics.  One cannot be Eurosceptic and vote for increased integration, something that someone like Hitchens should know all to well but fails to make clear to his readers.

The next European war

During my recent days of inactivity we have been treated to/forced to endure* (delete as appropriate) the grand theatrics of the EU elite, supposedly shoring up the Euro by creating a €1 trillion ‘bail out fund’.

Only, this being the deluded EU daydreamers at work, the figure broadcast to the world was unfunded.  It was plucked out of thin air before those who were going to contribute to it had even been asked – or in the case of European taxpayers, told – to hand over money.

But then came the warning that has been held in reserve for years by the integrationist elite. It fell to Germany’s Angela Merkel to deliver it:

Another half century of peace and prosperity in Europe is not to be taken for granted. If the euro fails, Europe fails. We have a historical obligation: to protect by all means Europe’s unification process begun by our forefathers after centuries of hatred and blood spill. None of us can foresee what the consequences would be if we were to fail.

The message was clear, if we don’t back the financial lunacy and the ever closer political and fiscal union being foisted upon us by the bureaucrats, the uber wealthy and their political drones, then the consequence could be another war in Europe.

However, Merkel and her ilk have got it wrong.  A failure of the Euro and the EU does not mean Europe will be plunged into war.  The political class across Europe is broadly united, so who would be declaring war on whom and for what reason?  Besides, the military capability of the European states has been so degraded by politicians jumping on the ‘peace dividend’ bandwagon their war fighting potential has been dramatically reduced.  Not to mention the fluffy bunny political correctness that spread like a sore across the continent and which sought to remove aggression from the fighting men, and turn them into armed humanitarian relief workers and ineffective peacekeepers who baulk at the first sign of conflict.

No, the prospect of war is made more likely by the political elite and their backers continuing along this doomed integrationist path.

It won’t be the military units of the European countries being pitted against one another, the scenario which with Merkel is trying to scare people into passive, obedient consent.  It will be ordinary people turning on the political class for stealing their democracy and pursuing self serving interests that are bringing about the ruination of economies and have already undermined social structures and cohesion.

The next European war will not be a planned and deliberate military action.  It will be the result of civil strife borne of the rejection of anti democratic hegemony as the people take back what has been stolen from them.

But as usual no one inside the bubble, politico or journalist, can see it.  When it happens they will be the only ones not to have seen it coming.

Don’t get excited by the Tory “rebellion”

Many people will look at the news headlines saying 79 Tory MPs voted against the Government and in favour of a referendum on the EU.

But before genuine Eurosceptics get too excited, the reality is the majority of that group of 79 are pro-EU MPs who believe in reforming the EU. They are not genuine Eurosceptics, they are the Europlastics. If the motion yesterday had been to approve a referendum offering a straight In/Out option the number of Tories rebelling would have been less than 12.

To put it into context, Chris Heaton-Harris, who has voted more than half the time for further integration within the EU, went through the Aye lobby to support the referendum call. He would not have done so if the wording had been for an In/Out referendum. He believes in staying part of the EU and in the myth of ‘renegotiation’ of our ‘relationship’ with it.

The fact remains, the interests of the political class do not match the interests of the ordinary voter.

MPs vote on Commons motion about EU referendum

483 voted against representative democracy.  111 voted for it.

Business as usual in the elected dictatorship.  Our public servants masters have spoken.  Nothing to see here.  Move along now.

John Redwood is Tory dead wood

If anyone ever required further confirmation that John Redwood is just as out of touch and deluded as any other Conservative, he obligingly provides irrefutable evidence on his blog, where he writes:

There are various EU initiatives being undertaken by a variety of Conservative MPs. Bill Cash has tabled a Bill to seek to sort out the growing legal and sovereignty difficulties.  Bill through the European Foundation keeps up a stream of informed comments on the evolution of the EU. As Chairman of the EU Scrutiny Committee he and his colleagues daily seek less or better rules and regulations, and try to strengthen the government’s hand in negotiations about the new measures.

Daily seek less or better rules and regulations?  Really?  No, really?  I have just three words to say in response to that…  Integrated Maritime Policy.

See here and then here.

Tory quislings rush to man the Europlastic barricades

‘The time for promises on the EU is long over,’ says Andrew Lilico, ‘only deeds will do’.  However the repatriation of powers from the EU that he refers to in his piece on the content partner site of the Guardian – ConservativeHome -  is not possible due to the core terms of EU membership, making the Tory manifesto pledges nothing more than empty promises.

Yet in his indignant piece we read Lilico demanding the commencement of that mythical renegotiation.  What we have here is either the politics of wishful thinking or the politics of dishonesty.

Is Lilico unwittingly demanding something that cannot be delivered, making him nothing more than a useful idiot?  Or is his article part of a cynical effort to hold the line on behalf of the pro-EU Tory leadership, making his piece a deliberate attempt to deceive people?  Perhaps we should be told if Mr Lilico still believes in Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny given they are just as real as this fabled notion of renegotiation.

Make no mistake, anyone who calls for ‘renegotiation’ wants Britain to remain firmly inside the EU and remain governed from Brussels.

Despite their apparent protestations and tough talk they are in no way Eurosceptic.  These are the people the Tory party is rushing to the barricades, to spew out hundreds of column inches of comment in the media and places like Con Home, to help in the deception effort and maintain the status quo.

Update: In the comments Richard North points us towards a piece on EU Referendum from 2008 about Lilico’s renegotiation fantasy.  Nothing has changed since then, apart from the person who occupies Downing Street and the faces around the Cabinet table. Which is why his conclusion then remains true today:

What will not wash, however, is any pretence that “renegotiation” under the present terms is a practical proposition. The Conservatives must recognise that this is no longer an option, without first committing to withdraw from the EU.

Exactly.

Poisoning the well

When looking at conflicts throughout history you can see a pattern of behaviour that was common to retreating armies.

They would burn anything of use, partly to deny anything of use to their enemy and partly to punish those who watched them flee in ignoble fashion.  They would also, as a matter of course, throw dead bodies and waste matter into the water supply to deny those who are chasing them away access to that which is essential for survival.  It is known as poisoning the well.

With the increase in support for those who argue Britain should leave the EU, we are witnessing the Europlastics performing the political equivalent of poisoning the well as they retreat.  Instead of throwing dead bodies and filth into the well, they are throwing the toxic, fairytale ‘option’ of renegotiating the terms of EU membership into the debate to poison it. This is the way in which they will perpetrate their next great con on the British public, by persuading them to vote for an impossible option, thus ensuring that the debate is killed stone dead and Britain stays firmly inside the corrupt and anti democratic EU.

Renegotiation is not an option.  It is not permissible.  Its very presence in the debate is a deliberate and cynical deception.  It is the poison in the well.

The Europlastics and their useful idiots in the media are focusing all their energies and column inches on renegotiation being what the majority of voters really want, not withdrawal.  For the EEC referendum deception in 1975 read the national referendum on EU membership debate in 2011.  The public was conned about the EEC being nothing more than a free trade area then; the public is being conned that renegotiation of EU membership can be conducted now.

How many voters would say in polls that they want renegotiation if they understood that it is an impossibility?  Renegotiation is a myth and when viewed in its proper context it appears in lists such as this:

  • Father Christmas
  • Easter Bunny
  • Renegotiation of EU membership
  • The Tooth Fairy

Lies characterised the pro-EEC argument in 1975, and they resulted in the situation in which we find ourselves today.  Lies are characterising the renegotiation argument today, and if allowed to continue they will result in Britain being permanently bound as a province of the European Union.

It is time to defend the well and counter the Europlastic lies.

Why the UK is not ready for an EU referendum

In a superbly thought through blog post, Witterings from Witney has turned his attention to Monday’s debate on a Motion relating to the holding of a national referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

As WfW rightly points out, the European Union’s process of acquis communautaire means that once the EU assumes competence over any area of government it cannot be returned to member states while that nation remains a member, so the prospect of renegotiating EU governance over the UK and repatriating powers and remaining a member of the EU is a pipe dream.

The big problem is that in this country too many voters do not understand this because the do not know how the EU works or is structured.  This lack of knowledge is why poll results professing to declare what the public would like to do about our membership of the EU, such as the YouGov covered in the Spectator’s Coffee House blog (which WfW references in his post) are pie in the sky.  For example:

The poll results also demonstrate that only a small percentage of the public would vote for the country’s current set-up with the European Union if they had the chance. Only 15 per cent would vote to stay in, compared to 28 per cent who would vote to leave, while 47 per cent would plump for renegotiation. If forced to chose between In or Out, the public splits 31 to 52.

For all the value that poll analysis has it may as well read:

The poll results also demonstrate that only a small percentage of the public would want to stay inside a burning building if they had the chance. Only 15 per cent would want to stay in, compared to 28 per cent who would want to leave, while 47 per cent would plump for a magic sky fairy to appear and ask the fire to undo all the damage it has caused and quietly extinguish itself.  If forced to chose between staying In or getting Out, the public splits 31 to 52.

The degree of public ignorance about what is and isn’t possible as an EU member confirms this country’s population is not anywhere close to being able to make an informed choice if presented with In/Out/Renegotiate options.

The calls for a referendum by enthusiastic Eurosceptics risk being seized upon by the Europlastics as an opportunity to spike the issue for decades by offering a false choice that could never be carried out, and using that vote outcome as the basis for maintaining the status quo.  Most of the media has no interest in explaining to people the reality of the situation – and the politicians certainly don’t.

This country’s people must have their say about how this country is governed, but it must be an informed choice.  That is not possible at this time.

Update: Richard North asks Eurosceptics one simple question over on EU Referendum – Still think you would win?

The Europlastics have been too clever by half

Let us set aside for one moment whether the House of Commons debate scheduled for Monday will actually achieve anything other than confirming MPs are a craven bunch of lying hypocrites, whether or not this is the right time and for an In/Out referendum on the EU, or if the Westminster Parliament has enough competence to resume powers that have been given away.  There is some good news amongst the mess.

The amendment tabled by George EUstice to this Monday’s debate on a Motion relating to the holding of a national referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, and Bernard Jenkin’s subsequent letter to EUstice which was copied to all backbench Conservative MPs (reproduced below) confirms our argument that EUstice is a Europhile stooge.

With poll after poll showing a majority of people in this country want an In/Out referendum, George EUstice is now doing his level best to subvert the wishes of the people and fulfil the wishes of David Cameron.  EUstice claims to be a Eurosceptic, but the reality is EUstice is pro-EU.  He wants to keep Britain in the EU and arrogantly believes it can be reformed, despite this belief being utterly incompatible with the EU’s definitive aims and conditions of membership.  This letter from Jenkin holes EUstice below his Europhile waterline:

Dear George

Firstly, David Nuttall’s motion sums up the EU question which faces the nation: do we carry on with EU integration on present terms of membership; or get out altogether; or renegotiate revised terms of membership? Your amendment seeks to narrow the terms of the debate by removing reference to one option which is clearly available to this country, which is to leave the EU. I personally don’t agree with an in-out referendum, but I recognise that that it is a legitimate option to be debated. The argument that this was not in our manifesto is irrelevant.I think we all appreciate your and others’ efforts to build bridges here, but I feel I must make it clear to colleagues why I (and probably most colleagues) cannot support the amendment as drafted. I am copying this to backbench colleagues.

Second, you advance your amendment on the basis that it is consistent with the coalition agreement, but this is not relevant either. Both the coalition agreement and our manifesto have both been overtaken by events. Support for fiscal union in the Euro area was not in either – and would have never have been entertained if it had been proposed for either document. It is fiscal union which is leading to a fundamental change in the character of the EU, and which has given rise to the demand for this debate.

Third, as a supporter of renegotiation, why am I not tempted by your amendment? Because any remit for renegotiation must set out the objective of establishing a new relationship with our EU partners. For such a new relationship to be meaningful, there must be a fundamental change in that relationship. It must restore the basic democratic principle that the authority to pass laws should be democratically accountable to those who are affected by them. The powers delegated to the EU (or withdrawn) must in future be determined by Parliament, and not by the EU institutions acting autonomously. Without this, nothing much will change. The difficulty we now face is that the EU Treaties are now so all encompassing, and the institutions so assertive, that the exercise of merely nibbling back powers and competences here and there would not reverse the effect of the Lisbon Treaty on the UK, or Nice, or Amsterdam, or Maastricht, or the Single European Act, or address the fundamental problems which actually arise from the Treaty of Rome.

Finally, there is a great danger that Parliament will emerge from this looking very out of touch if the House is not to debate the original motion or at least something which reflects its spirit. The BBBC adopted this motion in response to the e-petitions which demand an in-out EU referendum. Had the authors of the amendment approached the BBBC with their motion, it would not have been entertained by the BBBC, since there are no e-petitions behind it. If this amendment were to be selected, the debate and the vote which followed would be on the amendment, and not on the main motion – hardly an example of e-petitions working as they were intended!

Yours ever

Bernard

Bernard Jenkin MP (Harwich and North Essex)
Chairman, PASC (Public Administration Select Committee)

More people will be asking what kind of Eurosceptic would put forward an amendment which attempts to delay a national referendum on EU membership until after the UK had ‘renegotiated its position’ in the EU?  After all, such a call only serves the interests of the EU and those who are pro-EU.  Questions are being asked and the true face of EUstice is being revealed to more of those who have been taken in by his scam.

EUstice, along with fellow unprincipled climber, Chris Heaton-Harris, thought they were merely doing their master’s bidding – and their careers a favour – by forming the Parliamentary group of Europlastics to act as a pressure valve to ease the demands in some Tory party quarters for a straight In/Out referendum concerning our membership of the EU.

But it seems EUstice and Heaton-Harris have been too clever by half.  Their vanity has compounded their stupidity and led them to court so much media attention for their supposedly Eurosceptic club they have painted themselves into a corner.  It appears to be backfiring spectacularly.  With some in the media completely taken in by the EUstice/Heaton-Harris con trick, and others trying to help them in their attempt to undermine genuine Eurosceptics, copious amounts of oxygen have been pumped onto the story with unintended consequences.

Something that was supposed to grow no larger than a small flame to contain those who want Cameron to fulfil his Eurosceptic promises is now burning out of control.  Outside the Westminster bubble ordinary people, campaign groups and some of the useful idiots in the media who were taken in by the EUstice/Heaton-Harris spin and deception have seized the moment and given it a momentum that was never intended.

A debate in the House of Commons the Tory high command never wanted is now going to be held.  MPs who were selected for their supposed Eurosceptic credentials are now being called out by the people who were taken in by them and expect them to deliver on their pre-election pledges.  Cameron and Hague are seething with anger and have, with breathtaking arrogance, moved a backbench debate forward so they can personally attend and rein in those who are might go too far in playing to their constituency audiences and the public in general. It would be hilarious if it were not so serious.

So, on to that good news I referred to.  There are some upsides to all this.

After the debate it is likely that more people will be more aware than ever that all but a single digit number of Tory MPs who profess to be Eurosceptic are anything of the sort.  David Cameron and William Hague’s claims to be Eurosceptic will be finally exposed as utter cant, further eroding their credibility with the less engaged members of the public.  The BBC’s desire to showcase apparent Tory splits in news headlines will awaken resentment of the EU among more people outside the Westminster bubble, making our membership more unpopular and unsustainable.  And the political class will be more marginalised than ever as more people grasp the fact none of the three main parties share our views or interests – and that the idea of representative democracy is an illusion.

Before people can set about fixing something they have to understand exactly what is broken.  At this time not enough people realise what is broken.  This Parliamentary debate and the furore surrounding it will help more people on that journey of understanding.  No matter what the outcome of the debate itself, the charade that brought it about will bring about some positive benefits.

EU Referendum debate signals dawn of a new epoch

We have had many epochs.  We’ve had the Eocene, the Oligocene, the Miocene and even the Holocene.  But the rank disingenuous nature of the political class as they dance around issue of a possible EU referendum shows we have entered a new epoch – the Plasticine.  Yes, the Europlastics are on the march.

As dozens of Tory MPs ludicrously rush forth to profess their Eurosceptic credentials – despite all but half a dozen of all MPs consistently voting in favour of EU integrationist Bills that are put before the House of Commons – the effort to play down the possibility of a ‘No’ vote, and instead talk up the idea of reforming the terms of the UK’s membership of the European Union, has been immense.  As Richard North writing on EU Referendum explains, the Europlastics are plumbing new depths.

The fundamental deception in this whole sham debate is the suggestion that our membership of the EU can be renegotiated.  The very notion is a red herring.  The renegotiation suggestion is nothing more than an idea which spawned from a false hope, that cannot ever progress beyond wishful thinking.  It is a lie.  The EU’s core aim is ever closer union.  It is impossible to be a member without a firm commitment to that aim.

Including the suggestion of a renegotiation of the terms of EU membership in the forthcoming debate as a referendum option is nothing more than an escape exit the political class has provided for itself.  The con is on.

Of the 650 MPs in the UK around 640 have either voted in favour of further EU integration or tacitly supported it by absenting themselves from votes at some time.  MPs overwhelming want to convince the electorate that this supposed half-way house of renegotiation is a genuine option.  By doing so it will enable these Europhiles to give the illusion of action to placate the majority of voters while powers continue to be shipped to Brussels as they are today.  The excuse for the absence of progress is already established: ‘we can’t rush these things, it all takes time’.

Make no mistake, this Government and British MPs in general do not wish to weaken the stranglehold they and their predecessors have granted the EU over the UK. That is why the chief Europlastics, David Cameron and William Hague, will stand before Parliament and go through the charade of imploring, cajoling and threatening MPs to back away from giving the people the opportunity to choose how and by whom this nation is governed.  It is all an act.  They know the MPs won’t do anything that changes the status quo.

They are not interested in the wishes of the voters.  The electorate are the enemy that must be deceived, held at bay, patronised and wherever possible, ignored.  The political class will do everything in its power to prevent the possibility of a ‘No’ vote.  For them the future of this nation is lies embedded within an anti-democratic, corrupt and unsustainable entity.

The EU is the enemy of those who wish to live in a functioning, representative democracy.  And like the EU, this bastardised Conservative led coagulation of a government is our enemy too.  Don’t be fooled by Monday’s overhyped and overblown sleight of hand.  We are now in the Plasticine era where nothing in politics is genuine, it is just stage managed imitation.

On Monday set aside the hot air and judge the MPs by their actions – or what will prove to be a lack of them.

Gilad Shalit, Hamas and the BBC-Guardian axis of bias

I intended to write a detailed blog post about the release of Gilad Shalit and the consequences of the prisoner swap in return for this kidnapped Israeli soldier.  But again the bias of elements of the British media dictate a change of focus.

That said it is wonderful that this young man is free again after being held hostage for so long and denied visits from the Red Cross.  But that said, Israel has just turned free a battalion of hardened terrorists who will resume waging death and destruction as soon as they can.

One wonders if those people who constantly accuse Israel of of human rights violations and mistreatment of Palestinians stopped for one moment today to compare and contrast the sight of the malnourished Gilad Shalit who has been violently kidnapped, with the fit and healthy Palestinian terrorists and criminals who has been arrested and put on trial before being sentenced.  One measure of a people is how it treats those in its prisons, and the Palestinians prisoners have clearly been well looked after.

The scene underlined the sheer inhumanity of Hamas. Yet here in the UK, the BBC and the Guardian, both of which publish so many stories that portray Israel in a negative manner while turning a blind eye to the viciousness and violence of Hamas, this was ignored.

Meanwhile, as Gilad Shalit was explaining how he hoped this exchange would help to bring about peace, the people responsible for snatching him from inside Israel and mistreating him for the last five years led the crowds in Gaza and the West Bank in chanting:

“The people want a new Gilad!”

And less than a week ago Khaled Mashal, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, told the media:

“Those released will return to armed struggle.  It is a great national achievement.”

You will not find either quote anywhere on the BBC or in the Guardian.  They don’t want to show the true nature of Hamas, for whom they act as cheerleaders and propagandists.

Peace was what Gilad Shalit and many Israelis continue to hope and pray for.  But violence, terror and death is all Hamas are interested in as they pursue their aim of destroying the nation of Israel and driving the Jews out of the Middle East again.

Peace seems as far away as ever, and the BBC and Guardian will do their best to ignore the evidence in front of them to lay the blame for that at the door of Israel.  It is hard to feel anything other than utter disgust.

Why ‘we are the 99 percent’ has got it wrong

In the comments to a previous post, Permantexpat asked for my opinion on the burgeoning ‘we are the 99 percent‘ movement in the US.  I say the US because the UK boasts an altogether more positive 99 percent organisation with a different agenda.

In the US, ‘We are the 99 percent’ has emerged from the leftist agitprop of the Occupy Wall Street foolishness.  There are many tragic stories of misfortune among those who are now identifying with the 99 percent movement, but there are also many people who are involved for no more reason than they embody the politics of envy, the politics of entitlement, the politics of something for nothing.

There is a peculiar mindset among many on the left.  It leads them to argue that if someone has wealth the state should take a slice of it and give it to others who are less wealthy. Never mind that many of those people with wealth have earned it through hard work, long hours, risk taking, personal and emotional commitment and a determination to succeed; they have it and the Wall Street occupiers believe that without putting in the same effort they are entitled to some of it.

I am part of the 99 percent whose costs are increasing, income is falling and for whom the economic mess is proving harmful.  But I do not endorse or support the insipid, big state, authoritarian rent seekers who are leading desperate people down a dead end path.

The decent people who are suffering in the current economic situation, and through desperation are climbing aboard the leftist bandwagon, are right to protest.  However they are protesting against the wrong people.  The focus of their anger should not be Wall Street, it should be the White House and Congress. The root cause of what angers them is not those in the financial sector, regardless of the way many of them operated.  No, the root cause is a combination of themselves and the government.

  • Themselves because they allowed the politicians to con them into believing the state has all the answers and could be relied upon to throw a never ending stream of money at various agencies they could milk
  • The government because successive administrations have gradually made millions more people dependent on the state for assistance and handouts, while pursuing policies that have driven up the costs of essentials

What has been lost on too many people is the adage that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.  The consequences of allowing this to happen are now coming back a vengeance.  Now the handout tap has been turned down a large number of people are finding they have been living beyond their means.  No one denies the difficulty this causes for many decent people, but demanding the handouts continue by taking money from those who are more fortunate is not the answer.

Occupying Wall Street will change nothing.  Sleeping outside St Paul’s Cathedral will change nothing.  The first thing to do is focus a campaign on the politicians – because it is they who have encouraged and embedded this situation – and demand a change in the scandalous government spending priorities and regressive policies which are driving up the cost of food and energy, hitting the poorest hardest.

What is required is an end to the corporatism that masquerades as democratic government. It won’t happen by protesting outside the offices of bankers and financiers.  It won’t happen via movements which are steered by those who want to replace the damaging corporatist system with a damaging socialist system.

But when the decent majority wake up, stop being manipulated by the Marxists and leftists and demand action on their terms and focus on the political class, it will create the conditions for government in the people’s interest – where policies do not impoverish and the power games of the politicians are pushed out to the margins.  We might at last get proper representative democracy.

Rejecting political parties: A sign of things to come?

Interesting developments from the Republic of Ireland, where the Presidential election campaign has seen a previously rank outside independent candidate sweep to odds-on favourite to replace Mary McAleese (not Robinson as I wrote at 2am through bleary eyes…)

According to an opinion poll conducted by ‘Red C’, the candidates for Labour, Fine Gael and Sinn Fein are trailing in the wake of Irish ‘Dragon’s Den’ entrepreneur, Sean Gallagher.

The former Fianna Fáil man is running as an independent and his stock is rising rapidly with Irish voters who are deserting the organised political parties.

  • Independent – Sean Gallagher – 39%
  • Labour – Michael D Higgins – 27%
  • Sinn Fein – Martin McGuinness – 13%
  • Fine Gael – Gay Mitchell – 8%
  • Independent – David Norris – 7%
  • Independent – Mary Davis – 4%
  • Independent – Dana Rosemary Scallon – 2%

However not all is quite as it seems, as Gallagher is effectively running as an ‘arms length’ Fianna Fáil candidate.  He is a mere Indeplastic – a cheap rip off of the real thing.

That political party, knowing it would get short shrift from voters, does not have an official candidate and has decided the way forward is to get behind a proxy ‘celeb’ candidate.  It is a sign of weakness.  Clearly the penny is dropping in Ireland that the interests of the political parties are not the same as the electorate and that voting for the usual suspects doesn’t result in the changes they demand.  Fianna Fáil are wise to it, but will others change tack too?

If Gallagher wins the Presidency and takes up residence in the Áras it could signal the acceleration of the demise of political parties in Ireland.  While that might be honey in the ears of the unelected bureaucratic dictators of the EU, it could see more people step up as genuine independent candidates – the kind of people who still want democracy and can’t be bought off by Brussels.

One thing is clear in this political era, we are at a critical juncture and everything is to play for.  The question is, are we up for the battle?

“If it were optional, hardly anyone would pay it”

That is the reported opinion of a Judge sitting in the Court of Appeal, who upheld the conviction of Veronica Connolly for refusing to pay the TV licence fee.

It is refreshing to have a Judge articulate so clearly why the British public is compelled to pay this tax.

What is clear is that the notion of choice is anathema to the establishment. They must have their channel to the people, funded by the people, but which remains resolutely unaccountable to the people. And of course the people shouting loudest in support of the BBC are those who suckle at its many teats at our enforced expense.

It is a contempt of the people that we are forced to fund the self interest, bias, activism and narrow left wing worldview of this pampered establishment poodle. And Lady Justice Hallett has now confirmed as part of a legal judgement that given the choice we would reject this raw outlet of big state propaganda.

All the more reason then to challenge the BBC’s monopolistic dominance in UK news and media. Justice Hallett’s words are a call to action.

Roger Helmer’s resignation

Regular readers will be aware that in recent weeks this blog has been extremely critical of Roger Helmer MEP and a number of Conservative MPs for their inconsistencies and positions on the subject of UK membership of the EU.

The news this morning that a weary looking Roger Helmer is resigning his position as one of the MEPs for the East Midlands comes as a complete surprise.

While the disagreements and political arguments between Roger Helmer and me have been quite pointed and uncompromising, including my call for him to resign from The Freedom Association, I have a great deal of respect for the decision he has taken this week.  It is likely the thoughts and feelings he must have been experiencing in the run up to his decision are not dissimilar to those I experienced before I resigned as a Conservative Councillor in mid-term and then left the party.

Such a decision will not have been taken lightly – and from his resignation statement Helmer has exhibited principle in confirming that his disillusion with the attitudes of the Conservative Party on a range of issues, but particularly the EU, is at the heart of his decision.

Although I believe Helmer’s trust in some of his Conservative colleagues (such as Chris Heaton-Harris MP) has been and remains misplaced, and I have criticised him in candid fashion for it, I feel Helmer has taken an honourable course of action and I respect him for it.

The decision taken by Roger Helmer should sound as a wake up call to the many Conservative members who continue to kid themselves that the party might, at some point, become Eurosceptic.  It won’t.  And after years of believing the party’s direction could be changed, Helmer has finally accepted this and stepped down.

The fact is the Conservative Party is firmly in hock to the EU.  The powerbrokers who quietly run the party from behind the scenes will ensure it remains so and no amount of campaigning from within the party will effect any change in its pro-EU position.  If a person does not believe the EU should govern this country then they have no place in the Conservative Party.

I wish Roger Helmer the best for the future.

BBC luvvies deceive to defend the Licence Fee

While driving home from work on Friday I happened across the News Quiz on BBC Radio 4.  Noted for its left-of-Marx political ‘humour’ and sneering jibes against anyone outside the BBC’s narrow subset of acceptable viewpoints, I decided to see what it would throw up this time.

It wasn’t long before the rent seekers of Toksvig and Co managed to take time out from their script to criticise anyone who dares oppose the idea of being compelled by statute to pay for the BBC as you can hear in the clip below:

 

Andy Hamilton’s attempt to justify the licence fee by arguing that everyone funds ITV through a purchase tax is laughable.

As for La Toksvig being ‘enraged’ that some people happily pay £60 per month for Sky TV yet complain about the BBC providing all this ‘good stuff’ for just £145 per year, she completely and willfully misses the point.  People with a television set have a choice whether or not to buy Sky yet no choice about funding the BBC, despite routinely being ill served by BBC bias by omission, and the corporation hiding behind Freedom of Information exemptions in order to avoid accountability and public oversight of its editorial direction.

Out of control and above the law – Local Government in 2011

For people to become angry enough and energised enough to campaign or take a stand against something usually takes a realisation that their money is being taken from them wrongly, or that an injustice is being committed against them and others.

So one wonders what might happen when more people realise money is being taken from them wrongly, and they are being treated unjustly because the law is not protecting them from unlawful behaviour, and in both cases the perpetrator is the same entity – Local Government.

Recently this blog argued that to take back power we need to change focus.  In that post we explained that local politics is the least scrutinised area of public life, but it is also the most vulnerable to people power. We also covered the root of the problem:

Control should and supposedly does reside with elected local Councillors.  However it is the Council Officers who pull the strings.  They write the reports, they formulate the recommendations and all too often they seek to neuter any elected members who challenge them.  All too often the Council Officers help the Councillors to feather their nests, thus keeping them compliant and unwilling to rock the boat.

And it is this that needs to be the focus of our attention – the restoration of democratic control, transparency and accountability to stop the Officer tail wagging the Councillor dog.  It can be done, for it is far easier to create a non-party political local campaign, build up support in a ward or wards, and then run independent candidates who can win local elections than it is to get a non aligned candidate into Parliament.  Candidates who will not play the game, and who when elected will wrest control back from the bureaucrats and put it back in the hands of those who are directly accountable to the electorate, are a nightmare scenario for the powers that be.

In response some people argued that the idea is flawed because Councils are small fry due to the percentage of income they raise themselves.  However it is all relative.  Too much of what Councils do raise without mandate or consent is wholly unjustified.  Tackling that behaviour and getting visible results can help spawn a genuine grassroots movement and establish a powerbase that sees people power take root and grow and spread.  And the scope for action is huge.

All that is needed is for awareness to be raised of a genuine and unacceptable state of affairs and good people might finally stand up against the racketeering going on in our Town Halls.  And the evidence of that unacceptable state of affairs is now rising to the surface to be shared and cited across the country.

As readers of EU Referendum will have seen in recent weeks, a challenge to the unlawful behaviour of Bailiffs operating to enforce a debt to a local authority – and enforce illegal charges even after the debt has been paid – has led to Richard North lifting the hood to see what else is going on beneath the surface.  What he has already found is the evidence that has been completely hidden away from most people, or only partially uncovered by some.  And there is yet more to be uncovered.

Now Christopher Booker is on the case, carrying the message to his huge audience via his column in the Telegraph.  And this has been spurred by Richard North showing how Councils that are supposed to exist to provide public services to local communities have transformed themselves into businesses that seek to extract ever more money from us in the form of “sales, fees, charges” and “other income”.

This is not about serving the interests of residents in our cities and boroughs.  This is about maximising the amount of money taken from them to be spent on lavish pension schemes, salaries that outstrip comparable responsibility in the private sector, the creation of non-jobs such as a ‘Street Football Coordinator’, ‘Cheerleading Development Officer’ and ‘Bouncy Castle Attendant’; and schemes that derive yet more revenue – such as the formation of businesses to provide services to Councils instead of getting best value by having private sector firms competing with each other to deliver the best deal.

Then there is the plain and simple theft of residents’ money carried out by local authorities because there is insufficient oversight by feckless and incompetent Councillors who have their noses buried in the trough:

This is the Summonses and Liability Orders scam, where under the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, councils are only permitted to impose “costs reasonably incurred” for the issuing of these orders, which must also under the law be charged for separately.

Booker picks up on one council admitting that the cost of issuing a Reminder Notice, which precedes them, can be as little as £1.22. Yet, as we know, Bradford council charges £80 for issuing the two further documents, which, using the same computerised process, involve no more work than sending out the Reminder.

Many other councils, quite illegally, impose a combined charge of up to £100 for issuing both documents – even though, if the debtor pays in full on receiving the Summons, the Liability Order is not necessary.

Achieving political control over the spending of local authorities is not only possible, it is necessary.  Look at the figures below (taken from the Dept of Communities and Local Government’s Local Government Financial Statistics England 2011) and you realise the extent of the control that should be in the hands of ordinary people, but is in fact in the hands of people who view us as an unwitting source of income that exists to fund their plans and wishes, not members of the public to be respected and served:

People often say it is a scandal that Council Tax continues to rise when we get ever less for our money.  But this table lays bare the reality that Council Tax is only little more than 50% of what local authorities take from our hard pressed pockets and the pockets of small local businesses.

When the 30-40% of people who voted in local elections cast their ballot, did their Council candidate ever try to account for this extortion or pledge to tackle it? Did they for one moment promise to do anything about reducing the sum we taxpayers are forced to pay under threat of fine, theft by bailiff, bankruptcy or imprisonment? If not, why on earth vote for them to feather their own nest and facilitate this multi-billion pound scam?  This has been allowed to happen in Town Halls up and down the country under the party political system.  All of them share the blame and it is time to radically change things.

This sets the scene.

We will shortly build on this to outline how we can start to campaign to raise awareness and then how we can start to challenge it and bring about real change through people power.


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